A Healthier U

FITNESS ACTIVITY OF THE MONTH: CYCLING

Get out and ride your bike

Cycling is a low-impact exercise that people of all ages can do. Regular cycling can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.

Before you start

For most people, cycling is a safe and effective form of exercise. If you have any health concerns or an existing medical problem, see your general practitioner before you start.

Start slowly. If you have not been regularly physically active, start with an easy 20-30 minute ride and slowing increase the intensity or time of your workouts by 10 percent or so each week. If you haven’t cycled much before or you’re out of the habit of cycling, find yourself a traffic-free area to start off in, such as your local park.

Cycling safely

  • Wear a helmet
  • Be seen and heard
  • Check your bike
  • Be alert and plan your route
  • Always follow traffic laws

Featured Ride: Emigration Canyon – 15.2 miles round trip – intermediate difficulty

Emigration Canyon is one of the most accessible climbs from downtown Salt Lake City. The Emigration canyon climb is a moderate and relatively consistent grade of about 5 percent. This ride climbs 1,478 feet over 7.6 miles.  This ride will challenge beginners and give seasoned riders a great workout.

Parking is available at the Rotary Glen Park (2850 E. Sunnyside Ave.), just past the zoo, on the south side of the road.

Ride highlights:

  • Mile 2: Ruth’s Diner – busier traffic – watch for cars coming out of the parking lot. Once you’re past Ruth’s, traffic will thin out quite a bit.
  • Miles 3-5: Several nice shady spots and views of the creek.
  • At the Pinecrest turnoff: Stay right to begin the final climb to the summit.
  • Mile 6: Slight increase in grade, first of two switch backs. Along this stretch you have long views down the length of Emigration Canyon, of Salt Lake City and beyond.
  •  Second switch back
  • Six miles: The road tops out at Little Mountain Pass. Check out Millcreek Ridge to the south, Lookout Peak to the north and Upper Mountain Dell Reservoir below. Turn around here to enjoy the fast descent back to the city or continue east and extend your ride by heading up state highway 65 to Big Mountain Pass or descending to Salt Lake City through Parley’s Canyon on Interstate-80.

Emigration Canyon Elevation

Emigration Canyon elevation profile

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For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.